Friday, June 30, 2017

How to install Android on a Chuwi HI13

I succesfully installed Android X86 7.1rc1 on my Chuwi HI13. After all my experiences with ubuntu, it was quite easey.

Here we go:

Step 1: create a bootable live usb-stick

Go to:
and download the android-x86_64-7.1-rc1.iso

Start up your windows computer, and open rufus.
Write this iso to your usb.
open: efi/boot and delete everything here.
place here the Refind, you can find it at my drive:
Now change the refind.conf file, and put this in it:

menuentry "Android-x86 7.1-rc1 Live" {
    loader /kernel
    options "root=/dev/ram0 androidboot.selinux=permissive buildvariant=userdebug quiet DATA="
    initrd /initrd.img

menuentry "Android-x86 7.1-rc1 Installation" {
    loader /kernel
    options "root=/dev/ram0 androidboot.selinux=permissive buildvariant=userdebug DEBUG= INSTALL=1"
    initrd /initrd.img

I found these options in /boot/grub.conf

That's it ! Now you have a fully working android live USB-stick.

Stap two: create some place on your  Chuwi's ssd-drive:

Boot your Chuwi HI13 from the ubuntu live stick you created earlier.
open gparted as sudo. 
shrink windows a bit, shrink ubuntu a bit, shrink your swap a bit, and move all partitions, create so space for your android install. here a screen shot of my ssd drive:
Then , very important: create a partition in EXT4 , and give it a name, e.g. ANDROID_INSTALL
don't name it: android-x86, because that's exactly the name of your usb-stick, it will confuse you.
Remind very well the name of your partition: by me it was: mmcblk1p7.
The android installer is not so clear, it can confuse you very easy...

Step 3: install Adroid.

Now boot your Chuwi HI13 with the new-made android live usb-stick.
choose: install.
choose the right partition.
Choose: format disk
installation is just a few seconds. now you boot into android. login to your account, and then reboot.

You can not boot into android. Refind scans automatically all OS'es on the SSD-drive. But it does not find the android install . because it is in a subdirectory.
So i placed it in the root dir, then refind will automatically find it. But you can not boot, you need some special boot-options.
therefore it is better to leave it in the subdir, and make your own refind.conf:

Step 4: Configure Refind for triple-boot

The easyest way is to boot into your kubuntu install.
Open dolphin as admin:
Sudo dolphin
Or you can open it directly:
sudo kate /boot/EFI/efi/BOOT/refind.conf

 Then place this into it:

     menuentry "Android 7.1 opstarten" {
    volume Android_X86_64
    loader /android-7.1-rc1/kernel
    initrd /android-7.1-rc1/initrd.img
    options "SRC=/android-7.1-rc1 androidboot.selinux=permissive"

Yu have to change the volumename with the name you've chosen.

I tested very much different options. this works...
Sometimes i cannot boot after a restart from android. I have to boot into ubuntu, and then restart to android, then it works. I really don't understand this...

Experiences with Android.

I am very impressed by working with android: touch support is everywhere. Android IS touch !!
speed is great.

Rotating works automatically after a cold boot, but stops working after a while...
Simply download an app from play store for manually rotating. Solved...

Behaviour of power button: is only shutdown and restart. also close lid is not supported. I installed an app with a suspend-button on the desktop. Solved...

But now the bad news: bluetooth is not working good. It works, connects, and disconnects, and connects, and disconnects.
Can anybody post a patch for this ?

This was the main reason I tried an older version of Android-x86. But i can not boot it. I can only boot android-x86-7.1, and phoenix OS the newest version. I have tried everything but could not boot remixos or older versions of android-x86. I don't understand why not...

So i haven't solved the bluetooth-problem. This is very pitty and sad... I use a bluetooth footswitch, a bluetooth keyboard, and a bluetooth speaker everyday...

I want to use my external SD-car of 128 Gb in android. But it is in EXT4. and i can't change it to FAT32, because then user policy in ubuntu is not working. I have read there are possibilities to mount a EXT4-drive in Android. I have to figure it out, let you know...

Joost vdw june 2017


  1. Hi Joost.
    Did you live stick detect the internal eMMC drive out of the box.
    Mine does not detect any of the internal partitions on the eMMC?

    Best regards

    1. Mine just gives a
      mmc0: switch to high-speed from hs200 failed
      mmc0: error -84 whilst initialising MMC card

      When i try to detect the internal MMC..

    2. Android did not find me eMMC aswell. Do you know a solution? Add the eMMC drivers into android installer???


    3. mmm, did you make first a partition in EXT4 format ? Not FAT or NTFS ?

    4. Hi Joost, thank you for your reply. Yes, I tried unformatted and with EXT4.
      I have been doing a google search on this and it seems this is not only seen on Chuwi Hi13. I think it is a software/OS problem. But it is strange that it worked for you!

    5. Also, what is strange is that the Android Installer sees the micro sd card as MMC device.
      Is there some way to share your android partition without your personal data?

  2. In the Refind Folder ins't a refind.conf File, only a refind.conf-sample. Which should a modify?

    1. You needed to move the Boot folder in efi/boot, not the refind folder and then change refind.conf.

  3. Your guide works great but the touchscreen doesn't work on any of the OS you mentioned.

  4. Touchscreen doesn't work for me too. Tried to boot from live USB-stick after step 1.

  5. Also for anyone curious, WiFi doesn't work on the newest Android-x86 7.1 RC2 build, you have to use the RC1 one for now... but the real dealbreaker is the touchscreen for me.

    I really hope someone finds a way to make the touchscreen work.

  6. Hi Joost
    Is it possible to install Android without having to install Ubuntu?
    The obvious dependancy is GParted but I assume that can be run off the USB stick. Alternatively, use another partitioning tool.

    I want to perform absolutely minimum steps to get Android installed. Less chance of screwing something up, especially Windows.

  7. Unfortunately touchscreen doesn't work, either on RC1, RC2, or linux. Maybe the touchscreen device was changed?

    1. It's a goodix usb (out of all things?!) device.

      Which is odd because those things are usually i2c wired... the i2c wired ones are supported by the goodix.ko module, but it seems the usb one isn't.

      Any ideas?

    2. I believe it is still i2c. The device I have has a touchscreen with hardware revision GDIX1002, which is missing from goodix.c. Adding that id made the touchscreen work.

    3. There are 2 device id arrays in the source file that you need to add the new device id. Then compile the kernel.

  8. hi there,
    thanks for this awesome guide. all works except for some apps.
    i cant start netflix for example. it just crash after launch.
    any chance to fix that ?

  9. Mounting EXT4 sdcard is supported.

  10. I need to keep the Windows 10 (which I am in 90% of the time) and add android, anything newer than 5.1. (not 5.1) Is this possible.
    I only need android for that odd app, once in a while. I'd also like to "image" the hi13 afterwards, for backup purposes. Any ideas? thanks

  11. This android based telephone will turn out to be one of the up-to-date and the best advanced cells in the opposition. tutuapp

  12. This comment has been removed by the author.

  13. Hi, This post is a solution with Ubuntu but I don't want to install other linux.
    I find solution without no install ubuntu or other linux.

    I talk to you 2 solutions.


Chuwi Hi13 is dead now.....

This story ends now in a bad way. My chuwi is totally dead now. I sended it back to china. the seller were i bought it, was very helpfull...